DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar

Can you believe it’s almost Christmas? We love getting ready for the holidays at Hester & Cook, and an advent calendar is a great way to get into the spirit, one day at a time. This holiday tradition dates back hundreds of years, with each day leading up to Christmas corresponding with a small gift or reveal as the different doors on the calendar are opened. In this DIY, we show you how to make a paper version, perfect for holiday surprises like chocolates and ornaments.

Table Runners

Picking Your Papers

What’s your Christmas aesthetic? Classic colors, bright and bold, or winter wonderland? Our table runners and classic placemats come in a variety of prints and colors to fit any holiday mood. If you can’t decide, use multiple classic placemats to create your pockets for a completely unique look. Here are some of our favorite pairings:

Placemat Pairings

DIY Advent Calendar

Getting Started

This DIY may look complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple –– this is definitely a craft you can do while watching a favorite Christmas movie (we’re partial to White Christmas or I’ll Be Home for Christmas ourselves). We recommend prepping everything first: gather your papers, tape, ruler, and cutting supplies. Cut and set aside your runner piece that will serve as the backing for your calendar. Next, measure and cut your placemats (12 total) to create your 24 pocket pieces. Placemats will give you two pocket pieces when cut, each measuring 8.25” x 11.75”. Once all of your pieces are prepared, it’s time to fold your 24 pockets. Watch our video instructions below, or grab our guide for a folding diagram.


Once all your pockets are made, hang your backer piece where you’d like your calendar and attach pockets using tape or glue. Feel free to add extra decoration to your calendar, such as a Banner Table Accent or Eight Tiny Reindeer Bunting.

DIY Advent Calendar

Surprise Time!

Once your pockets are attached, it’s time to fill them with surprises! Chocolates and candies are traditional advent treats, but we also love to mix it up! Make a few quick ornaments (like this repurposed Santa Gift Tag) for your pockets, write sweet notes to spread holiday cheer, or maybe even slide in a gift card or small toy! Anything is possible with a little Christmas magic.

We hope you liked this DIY! Grab the quick guide here for a detailed step-by-step to add a little holiday magic to your space. We can’t wait to see what you make!

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